Arsenal are finally back in form thanks to their Dutch master Robin Van Persie who has been setting the Emirates on fire in recent weeks leading his side to three consecutive victories for the first time this season. Bolton and the Gunners met recently at the Emirates in the Premier League, with Arsenal victorious on that occasion 3 – nil thanks to a Van Persie brace (which is becoming a normality) and Song’s tidy finish.
Expect a much changed and younger Arsenal side tomorrow with Oxlade Chamberlain, Miquel, Coquelin and Frimpong heading the queue for a start for this Carling Cup fixture, with some added maturity from Benayoun, Squillaci and Park.
Bolton have been struggling in the Premier League but managed to dispose of Aston Villa in the previous round signalling their intent to get as far through the Carling Cup as possible. Although Bolton may too rest some key players, the Gunners will still have a tough task on their hands, however with some creative genius from Arsenal’s young stars they should be able to seal the deal.
Arsenal 2 Bolton 1
Arsenal : WWWLW
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Stoke City: LWLLW
on Robin van Persie:
The medical team did very well to get him on the bench [for the Stoke game]. They did so well that he got us two goals so I don’t know whether we should give the goals to Van Persie or the medical team!
on Gibbs, Jenkinson and Diaby:
It looks unlikely that they will be available for the Chelsea game.
on Thomas Vermaelen:
He is back in full training again, he is alright now.
on Jack Wilshere:
Everything is going to plan. The next steps will be to have a scan but he is on track.
on Park’s lack of match time:
Some players like Pires and Henry took four, five, six months and they became exceptional players, Park arrived two months ago so that’s normal.
Some people judged our players very quickly in a negative way and slowly they changed their mind through their performances. I prefer it that way round than the other. Some players make you jump off your seat in the early stages and then disappoint you after. These players will win over all the sceptical people and Park is one of them.
I have been impressed by his intelligence and his attitude. He is well-appreciated and rated by his team-mates and by the staff as well – we think he is a quality player.
Arsenal – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – The young Englishman has had a fantastic start to his Arsenal career netting in his first two starts in Champions League and Carling Cup matches. With Wenger reluctant to use the 18 year old in the Premier League, he will be extremely eager to stake a serious claim in the starting lineup with a solid goal scoring performance at the Emirates.
Bolton – Gael Kakuta – The Chelsea loanee netted against Aston Villa in the previous round, and with the inform Ivan Klasnic partnering him upfront, the Gunners defence will have to be wary of the threat the Frenchman may pose
Coquelin Squillaci Miquel Vermaelen (c)
Ox-Chamberlain Chamakh Park
The team is extremely hard to pick at this stage with injuries depleting the fullback options and first team regulars expected to be rested. Wenger has admitted that he has transformed Coquelin from rightback to a central midfielder, however due to the lack of depth in that position and Djourou/Santos needing to be rested ahead of the Chelsea match Coquelin may get the nod here. Vermaelen may well be fit for his return to first team action after spending two months out with an achilles injury, however he won’t play a whole game.
To partner Frimpong in the centre of the park could be Aneke who has been likened to Yaya Toure by Wenger today or Ozyakup may make his second first team appearance. Benayoun’s lack of match time will probably see him get the nod ahead of Rosicky. Oxlade-Chamberlain and Park will definitely play a part in the match, and hopefully Miyaichi will make an appearance too.
more to follow…